Stories are the best ways to overcome obstacles of learning. While I was working on a leadership program I came across two stories from our mythology which helped me to explain the concept of delegation to my trainees. In this blog, ‘Delegation in Ramayana (Mythology & Management) I’ll share both the stories and how these stories explain the delegation.
Lord Ram helped Sugriva to regain his honor and made him king of Kishindha. Sugriva and vanars decided to help Lord Ram unite with his wife Mata Sita who was abducted by demon Ravan. The entire Vanar army was divided into four groups and sent in four directions to find Mata Sita. Hanuman, Angad and Jambavantha with their group reached the southern seashore. They met Sampati, a vulture, who tells them Mata Sita was abducted by Ravan and is sitting under a tree in Lanka, which is on the other side of the ocean.
Upon encountering the vast ocean, every vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other vanaras and the wise bear Jambavantha begin to extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body, and flies across the ocean. After he finds Sita in captivity, Hanuman reveals his identity to her by giving her ring of Lord Ram. He reassures her that Lord Ram has been looking for her. He offers to carry her back to Lord Ram, but she refuses his offer, saying it would be an insult to Lord Ram as his honor is at stake. She gives her jewelry to Hanuman Ji and asks him to give it to Lord Ram.
To seek a peaceful solution, Lord Ram sent Angad as messengers to convince Ravana to return Mata Sita peacefully. As this was the only way to avert the war. Angada tried every means to convince Ravana, but he was firm to face battle instead of returning Mata Sita peacefully. Angada planted his foot firmly on the ground and challenged anybody in the courtroom to uproot his foot. If anybody were to accept the challenge and was successful, Lord Ram would concede defeat and return without Mata Sita.
All the commanders of Ravana’s army and even his son ‘Indrajit’ tried to lift Angada’s leg but none succeeded. Feeling humiliated by this failure, an infuriated Ravana slowly walked towards Angada’s planted foot and just as he was about to hold Angada’s leg to attempt the challenge, Angada moved away and Ravana fell down. Angada explained that the challenge was for Ravana’s commanders and not for Ravana. He told that Ravana was prepared to fall on his feet but instead he should choose to fall on the Lord Ram’s feet, for those are the ones that remove fear of cycle of life & death. He then picked up Ravana’s crown which fell down on the ground and threw it out of the palace. Ravana ordered his men to kill Angada. But he took a jump and flew back to the place where the Vanara army was gathered.
Lessons: Mythology & Management
These two stories give us very important lessons of management in purview of Delegation. See Lord Ram as CEO of company and observe the power of delegation being expelled and carried off by him. When the thought struck my mind, I got another reason to reassure myself that management certainly is a derivative of mythology.
Lord Ram, put across the problem and took up a discussion to suggest solutions. He was aware of his team strengths and weaknesses. Lord Ram also knew about the importance of each task to their organization and the task @ hand. Accordingly as per the skill set and the importance of task – he further went on to strategic delegation among the team.
That is the reason why Hanuman in story 1 was assigned the task to find Sita and to reconfirm her presence at the Ashok Vatika. He was assigned the task based on this physical skill set and presence of mind. And Sita like an ardent associate understood the importance of task delegated and din’t asked for any further help or assistance.
In management context, an extension further to delegation leads to imbalance and hence grievance. And that is why the delegation holds lot of importance.
Coming to the second story, Angada was delegated a task of authority. He was a messenger deployed to discuss the suggested way out, to avoid war. His skill set included assertiveness, authority, communication skills and he knew temper control which wasn’t a case with Hanuman as he was an emotional devotee of Lord Ram and would never listen to any ill words for Lord Ram. Lord Ram knew of his skill set and his power. And hence the delegation was done accordingly.
These two stories embark all the 5 Stages of Delegation. Where Lord Ram, observed and realized the strengths of his team members including Hanuman, Jamavanth and Angad. He evaluated the situations and the employee skill set, he made sure of the circumstances and allowed his team to collaborate and that’s how he delegated.